“What do you do for fun?” can be a difficult question to answer

how boring

I heard a speech recently where the speaker was asked this question at a party and had a difficult time coming up with an answer. For some this question, “What do you do for fun?” is the easiest one to answer. You may have come across these folks who could be any one of the hikers, the fishermen, the skiers, the gardeners etc., to name a few. They will go on for hours and make you wish that you had asked a different ice breaker question.

Don’t get me wrong. This is a pretty good ice breaker question and since the purpose of socializing is to connect with folks who have similar interests as yours, you may find out some interests that match and thereby connect.

For some it could be a very difficult question to answer. I used to be in this category too. I did not know how to make “reading books”, “going to the movies” and “watching TV” sound like fun. I could visualize the judgmental look I would get if I answer this question truthfully. So, I would tell that I have been very busy at work lately but if I had time then I would like to go hiking or play tennis or something like that and avoid the question completely.

This was my predicament too until Gretchen Rubin, in her book, “Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun”, gave me an out and this is what she wrote.

I tended to overrate the fun activities that I didn’t do and underrate my own inclinations. I felt like the things that other people enjoyed were more valuable, or more cultured… more, well, legitimate. But now it was time to “Be Gretchen.” I needed to acknowledge to myself what I enjoyed, not what I wished I enjoyed. If something was really fun for me, it would pass this test: I looked forward to it; I found it energizing , not draining; and I didn’t feel guilty about it later.

Rubin, Gretchen (2009-12-16). The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun (Kindle Locations 2024-2028). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

Of all the peer pressures that one has, what you do for fun should not be one of them. With this insight, I felt at peace with my idea of fun. It is perfectly fine if my idea of fun is to curl up with a non-fiction business book or my idea of a fun outdoor activity is to go to a park, sit on the grass and read a book.

The speaker I mentioned at the beginning of the post had a distinguished career and found the time he spent working was the time he had the most fun. But he understood that work as fun was something that other people would not find amusing or interesting. So, naturally he had difficulty answering that question at a party.

Anyhow, the crux of the matter is that we should not see what we like to do for fun from other’s perspective. What is fun for me is my business (as long as it legal, ethical,,,,)  and it does not matter what others think of me.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

About Shakeel Akhtar

I am a husband and a father striving for a balanced life. It is my belief that a balanced life could result in a life of zero regrets. With this mindset, I am blogging on 7 areas of life that I call the 7 colors of the rainbow of life. We are given 168 hours every week to paint our rainbow with these 7 colors and if we are able to do that then there is a chance that we could find our "pot of gold"
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